23 October 2017
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  • 22/10/2017 - VATICAN

    During the Angelus Pope Francis mentioned World Mission Day, entrusting “the mission of the Church in the world" to Saint John Paul II. A Letter by the pontiff about the centennial of Benedict XV's ‘Maximum Illud’ is released. "Contrasting God to Caesar would be fundamentalism." More than a hundred Claretians are canonised, martyrs of the Spanish Civil War, "to support Christians who event nowadays are subjected to discrimination and persecution in different parts of the world." The pope calls for prayers for peace in the world and Kenya.




    22/10/2017 - VATICAN

    Papal letter for the 100th anniversary of Maximum Illud on the activity of missionaries in the world


    Pope Francis plans an Extraordinary Missionary Month for October 2019 to awaken the commitment of the missio ad gentes and transform ordinary pastoral outreach along missionary lines. The goal is to move away from tiredness, formalism and self-preservation. From Benedict XV's missio ad gentes to Vatican II, from Pope John Paul II to Evangelical Gaudium, this is the Church’s “essential task”,


    21/10/2017 - VATICAN

    Cardinal Filoni: World Mission Day is not a question for only priests and religious


    "The Christian faith is born precisely because, as Saint Matthew says in Chapter 28, Jesus gave the last commandment, the last mandate to his disciples: Thus go, baptise, and make disciples.” The number of Catholics in the world is up, but their proportion is down. The number of bishops is up, as are permanent deacons, but that of priests and religious is down.


    21/10/2017 - PAKISTAN

    Nawaz Sharif’s son-in-law sparks outrage over his discriminatory comments about Ahmadis

    by Shafique Khokhar

    The Rwadari Tehreek Movement calls for immediate action against Muhammad Safdar. His speech “was an incitement of violence towards minorities, and was against the vision of the founder of Pakistan, Muhammad Ali Jinnah."


    21/10/2017 - INDONESIA

    Beaches, diving, culture: Jakarta to boost tourism


    Indonesia has the world’s second longest coastline. In 2014, maritime tourism generated only US$ 1 billion in revenue. The government now wants to bring that to US$ 4 billion by 2019. The goal is to go beyond Bali, and promote nature and cruise ships in ten other seaside areas.


    21/10/2017 - SOUTH KOREA

    For Bishop You, the Gospel can overcome the obsession of competition and the decline in births


    For the bishop of Daejeon, the country’s low birth rate is the result of constant focus on careers. Physical labour is denigrated; only white-collar jobs are appreciated. Families teach to outperform others. "We love the Lord by loving our brothers and sisters."


    21/10/2017 - CHINA - VATICAN

    Wang Zuoan: Pope Francis is sincere, but he has to submit to two conditions

    by Li Yuan

    In an interview with Commercial Radio, the director of the State Administration of Religious Affairs reiterated the urgency of cutting relations with Taiwan and not interfere in China's domestic affairs, including religion. Fang Xinyao and Ma Yinglin, two bishops present at the party congress, heap praise on Xi Jinping's speech. Others warn against “fake pastors but real slaves”. An underground Catholic expresses his fears.


    20/10/2017 - LEBANON

    For al-Rahi, Syrian and Palestinian refugees are a "great burden" for Lebanon


    The Maronite patriarch highlights how refugees now top more than half the Lebanese population, and have become “a demographic, economic, political, cultural and security threat”. Hence, “their return to safe places in Syria has become a necessity”.


    20/10/2017 - SOUTH KOREA

    Seoul to restart the construction of two nuclear plants


    The recommendations of an official commission have been made public. Unexpectedly, a majority favours nuclear energy. Moon had pledged to scrap nuclear power. The country relies on nuclear power for a third of its electricity, which will be phased out gradually over a 60-year period.


    20/10/2017 - CHINA

    The first electric locomotive 'made in China' on Serbian railway tracks


    The Chinese manufacturer, Crrc, is expanding its presence in the European market. The new locomotive meets all the standards and technical requirements of the old continent.


    20/10/2017 - CHINA

    Applause for Xi Jinping, the 'savior of China' and (perhaps) the world

    by Wang Zhicheng

    A Tencent game for those who applaud most at video of Xi's speech at the Party Congress. The public praise of cadres. Greetings from countries around the world interested in the "Belt and Road Initiative".


    20/10/2017 - THAILAND

    Reforming Thai Buddhism to counter scandals


    The image of the religion has been affected by sexual and financial scandals. Closer checks have been imposed on the finances of thousands of temples. Senior monks now exert tough discipline. Donations and sales of sacred objects in temples have been prohibited. The “inappropriate use of social media" has also been banned. Some 35 monasteries and 29 individuals are under investigations. Relations between monks and the state have become rocky.


    20/10/2017 - YEMEN

    Education for 4.5 million children at risk in Yemen


    Some 1,600 schools have been destroyed or damaged, whilst another 170 have been used for military purposes or shelters for displaced people. One school in ten has been closed. About three quarters of teachers have not been paid in a year. Without education, children could become child soldiers or child brides.


    20/10/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: to overcome the current social order model, transform it from within


    Inequality and exploitation "are not a fatality nor a historical constant," but depend on human action and economic rules. The call to “eliminate the pressures of public and private lobbyists that defend sectoral interests" and that "political action is truly in the service of the human person, the common good and respect for nature".


    20/10/2017 - BANGLADESH – VATICAN

    Dhaka, young Christians anxiously await Pope Francis’s visit

    by Sumon Corraya

    On 2 December more than ten thousand youth will attend the meeting with the pontiff at Notre Dame College. About 130,000 people will come together for the pastoral visit from all over the country. The coming of the pope "will help us later on".


    20/10/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Jesus asks for truth, coherence of life and rejection of hypocrisy


    "Our actions are the response to God’s gratuitous love, which rectifies us and always forgives us. And our path to holiness lies in always receiving this forgiveness. " The hypocrites "trick the soul, live by trickery, holiness is a trick to them. Jesus always asks us to be truthful, but truthful in our heart and if something appears that this truth appears, that is in our heart. "


    20/10/2017 - PAKISTAN

    US drone kills Taliban leader


    Umar Khalid Khorasani was wounded last week in Afghanistan. Islamic group Jamaat-ul-Ahrar militants claimed the attack on Gulshan-i-Iqbal park in Lahore in 2016, which resulted in more than 70 mostly Muslim victims. Anti-terrorism operations ahead of visit by US Secretary of State.


    19/10/2017 - SOUTH KOREA – JAPAN

    A declining birthrate threatens the economies of South Korea and Japan


    Steps taken so far have failed. Ministers from the two countries met today in Seoul to discuss the issue. An aging population weighs heavily on the economy, shrinking the labour force and driving up welfare costs. Economics is the main issue.


    19/10/2017 - MYANMAR

    Yangon, interreligious dialogue is the key to reconciliation


    Fr Mark Tinwin, who teaches at a Yangon seminary, speaks about the matter. For him, when the people of Myanmar will live in peace and harmony, the nation will be able to work on economic development and social progress by focusing on education, health, employment, social security and infrastructure. The Catholic Church is committed to national unity, and the promotion of dialogue in families and villages.


    19/10/2017 - SYRIA

    I, a Christian doctor in Aleppo, close to the victims of the war


    Nabil Antaki speaks of great signs of hope. Hundreds of volunteers work day and night to ensure survival to others. A lay member of the Blue Marists, he is one of the few doctors left in the city. Faith in Christ his "strength to remain". In Syria, 80% of the population does not have health care. 70% of specialist doctors have emigrated. 


    19/10/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Catholics and Methodists as brothers and sisters on the journey together


    Francis expressed his desire to continue the path of rapprochement to a delegation of the Methodist World Council on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the start of the Methodist-Catholic theological dialogue. For him, “As we look to the future, beyond the past fifty years, one thing is certain: we cannot grow in holiness without growing in communion.”


    19/10/2017 - SOUTHEAST ASIA

    Beijing becoming a major weapons supplier in Southeast Asia


    China won a US$ 148 million contract to supply the Thai military with 49 tanks. Malaysia has bought 18 frigates for coastal defense. Indonesia has obtained Chinese-made radar and command systems. China is Myanmar’s largest arms supplier.


    19/10/2017 - SRI LANKA

    Hindu Tamils celebrate Diwali, asking the god Ganesh to bless their future

    by Melani Manel Perera

    During the "festival of lights", the faithful offer rituals and prayers to worship the gods. Since the temple in Sri Siththi Vinayagar (Trincomalee) is undergoing renovation, votive rituals are celebrated in a temporary hut.


    19/10/2017 - VATICAN

    Pope: Salvation is "free", do not close the door to anyone seeking it


    "The doctors of the law are not just of those times, there are so many even today. That is why we need to pray for shepherds. Pray so that we do not lose the key to knowledge and do not close the door to ourselves and the people who want to enter. "


    19/10/2017 - CHINA - VATICAN

    At the Congress Xi reaffirms: Sinicization of religions under the Communist Party

    by Li Yuan

    In his speech yesterday at the Party Congress, Xi Jinping reiterated the "new approach" to religious activities. The Catholic Church reiterates the independence of nomination and ordination of bishops. Two bishops present at the Congress: Msgr. Giovanni Fang Xingyao of Linyi and Msgr. Giuseppe Ma Yinglin of Kunming.


    19/10/2017 - EU-ISRAEL-PALESTINE

    European countries: Israel must reimburse seizures and destruction of humanitarian material


    The letter, signed by eight countries, is an unprecedented move in relations with Israel. Israel's coercive measures on schools and against international assistance cause suffering to Palestinians. More than one million euros in European funding lost.


    19/10/2017 - INDIA

    300 Hindu radicals attack Chhattisgarh Protestant church: two seriously injured


    The aggression at the Bastar for Christ Movement Church in Jarpara took place during Sunday prayers. Women and children also beaten. Pastor: "The radicals are supported by the Bjp party in power."


    19/10/2017 - IRAQ

    Chaldean Patriarch Appeal: People Before Oil, No More Conflict

    by Louis Raphael Sako*

    In a letter to the President of the Republic, Sako urges "cooperation" between Iraqi leaders. The goal is to create a "modern and strong civilian" nation, capable of initiating economic, social and cultural reforms. The Iraqi army  takes a large portion of Nineveh and Diyala from the Kurds. Fears for Teleskof and Alqosh.


    18/10/2017 - IRAQ

    Iraqi Kurdistan caught between Talabani's death and Barzani's political suicide

    by Pierre Balanian

    Kirkuk's seizure by the Iraqi army marks a turning point, and certainly widens the split between Talabani’s supporters and those of Barzani. Turkey and Iran are happy at the end of the dream for independence.


    18/10/2017 - IRAN – EUROPEAN UNION – UNITED STATES

    EU disowns Trump over Iran nuclear deal, a “key pillar” for international non-proliferation


    At a time of acute nuclear threat, European leaders intend to preserve the agreement signed with Iran despite Trump’s threat to terminate it. For UN atomic agency, the deal is fundamental for the security of the US, its allies and the region. The IMF rejects the US president’s demand to cut loans to Tehran.






    Editor's choices

    MYANMAR
    Rohingya not only group persecuted in Myanmar, Christian minorities are as well



    Ethnic Kachin, Chin and Naga endure suffering. Religious discrimination is in some cases even institutionalised. Christians are seen as the expression of a foreign religion, outside of the nationalist view. For years the military regime has applied stringent discriminatory measures.


    VATICAN - ASIA
    The world is in urgent need of the Church's mission

    Bernardo Cervellera

    October is a month devoted to awakening the call to mission among Christians. In the world there is indifference or enmity towards God and the Church. Religions are considered the source of all wars. Christianity is the encounter with a Person who changes the life of the believer and places him at the service of the wounds of the world, torn by frustrations and fratricidal wars. The example of the Patriarch of Baghdad and of the President of South Korea.


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